Although Mardi Gras is Tuesday, Feb. 12, IHOP's National Pancake Day will help you get your Fat Tuesday on a week early. Originally tied to Shrove Tuesday, aka Fat Tuesday, which also falls the same day as Mardi Gras, IHOP holds the event on the first Tuesday of February. Dating back into the origins of the observances of Lent, Shrove Tuesday was traditionally the day to eat up all the dairy and staple products since people would fast during Lent. What developed was that it was easiest to make pancakes out of the flour, butter, lard, eggs, and milk, so Shrove Tuesday / Fat Tuesday also became nicknamed Pancake Tuesday.
IHOP has not only jumped onto a bandwagon of tradition to market its pancakes. The chain started National Pancake Day as a charitable event in 2006. Although the short stack will be available free tomorrow, patrons are asked to make a donation to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. In 2012, the National Pancake Day raised more than $3 million. The chain estimates that the amount of pancakes given away totaled over sixteen miles tall. Not a very short stack when added up. According to the company's website, IHOP has raised more than $10 million since it began the event in 2006. Information also on the IHOP website states that Children's Miracle Network Hospitals make up more than 170 non-profit children's hospitals in North America. Local donations help local children. While much of the $4 billion raised by the network since its beginning in 1983 has gone for equipment, training, and research, donations also help with uncompensated care. The network's mission is to "save and improve the lives of as many children as possible." More information on the network is available at its website.
Rich Cecil, IHOP Manager at the Niles location, said, "Although it's free pancakes, the whole purpose of it is the donations to the Children's Miracle Network, which is in conjunction with Akron Children's Hospitals." Cecil said that there are several locations in Northeast Ohio. All donations raised in the local area will go to children's hospital locations in the same area. Cecil also said that the Niles location raised nearly $3,000 last year and has already raised close to $1,000 in balloon sales since the beginning of January this year. Balloon sales end today and tomorrow's fund-raising will be cash donations to the Children's Miracle Network. Patrons are reminded that other items on the menu are still available and to remember to tip their servers. Cecil also reminds patrons that even if only a small amount can be donated, every little bit helps and it is for a good cause. Most of the $4 billion raised by the network over its 30 years has been $1 at a time, although most people will donate what they estimate the cost of the short stack would have been.
The short stack being given away for free is buttermilk pancakes. IHOP reserves a limit of one free short stack per guest and the offer is for dine-in service only.
IHOP is located in Mahoning County as well as Trumbull County. The two locations are:
1980 Niles-Cortland Rd SE
Warren, OH 44484-3036
833 Boardman-Poland Rd
Boardman, OH 44512-5116